New York Yankees Pre-Season Analysis


Gianna Postiglione, Sports Writer

With spring training underway the New York Yankees have a lot to figure out. Throughout some of the uncertainty of the offseason there is one thing they know for sure; their captain, Aaron Judge will remain in pinstripes for the next nine years.  

With a 13-year championship drought the Yankees are looking to bridge the gap between their competitors. One of the biggest questions this year is, who will play left field? Will Aaron Hicks have a bounce back year? Will general manager Brian Cashman make a blockbuster trade before the season starts? Or will manager Aaron Boone let the baby bombers play?  

Yankees minor leaguer Jasson Domínguez is among one of the Yankees top prospects. In his first spring training appearance on Feb. 25 Domínguez mashed a ball 109.7 mph off the bat, sailing a projected 420 feet out of the ballpark. Some fans think that left field is a perfect spot for Domínguez. However, Domínguez is only 20 years old and has never played in the big leagues before.  

On the other hand, during a Jan. 23 interview Cashman showed hope for the 33-year-old Hicks. In 2018 Hicks had a career year slashing .248/.366/.467 with 27 homeruns. However, he hasn’t performed up to his 2018 ability since then. In addition to his lack of performance, Hicks has also had a problem staying healthy. From 2019-2021 Hicks played a combined 145 games largely due to injury, keep in mind a regular season is 162 games. Throughout last season Hicks has shown some glimpses of what he is capable of. On June 23 in the bottom of the ninth inning Hicks hit a game-tying three run homerun which injected some energy into the roaring Yankee Stadium crowd. This gave Aaron Judge the opportunity to walk off the game later that inning.  

Another option could be Oswaldo Cabrera. Cabrera made his debut last year on Aug. 17 and quickly became a fan favorite. Unlike Hicks and Domínguez, Cabrera is more of a utility player although he proved last season that he can play any position he is thrown into. With a small sample size from 2022 Cabrera played 44 games with 171 plate appearances batted .247/.312/.429. One thing Cabrera has shown that we have yet to see in the others is energy. Similar to former Yankee Nick Swisher, Cabrera brings energy and swag when he steps on the field. From roll call, to robbing a homerun over the right field (or left field) wall.  

Will Brian Cashman please the fans and pull off a Bryan Reynolds trade? 

Each option has its pros and cons. Who the Yankees end up riding with this season has yet to be determined.  

This off season the Yankees added another power arm in Carlos Rodón. The two-time all-star tossed 178 innings with a record of 14-8, 2.88 ERA, and a 5.4 WAR last year. This addition adds not only another lefty in the rotation, but he also adds depth in the rotation.  

The Yankees may have gained a pitcher in Rodón; however, they also lost a pitcher in Frankie Montas. Montas would’ve acted as the fifth starter in the rotation this season. Due to a lingering shoulder injury, Montas had surgery on Feb. 21. This puts him on the IL for an uncertain amount of time. This opens the gates for pitchers Domingo Germán and Clarke Schmidt to compete for this spot in the rotation.  

Over the offseason Schmidt has added another pitch to his arsenal, the cutter. In his first spring training appearance he is coming out hot, pitching 2 innings, striking out 5, with zero hits and zero walks. It is a possibility that this new pitch may give him an edge over Germán in this upcoming season. 

Germán on the other hand, has some more experience in the majors. However, with a suspension and injury keeping him out of the rotation for a majority of the time since late 2019, Germán must compete for the spot.  

Who will win the starting shortstop position? Will it be the Yankees first round draft pick in 2019, Anthony Volpe. Rookie Oswald Peraza, Oswaldo Cabrera, or last year’s shortstop Isiah Kiner-Falefa.  

This is an especially tough spot for Volpe to be in because he hasn’t played much triple A ball. However, the New Jersey native has said he’s ready to work hard to win a spot on the 40-man roster.  

Oswaldo Cabrera can also be seen playing some shortstop this season since he is such an athletic utility player. Cabrera made an impression on the fans in just a few months last year by starting in five different positions.  

Oswald Peraza had a short stint with the Yankees last year, joining the team in early September. Peraza played 18 games, with 57 plate appearances batting .306/.404/.429.  

All four players are going to get plenty of opportunity to prove themselves in order to earn a spot on the field. In a Feb. 15 interview Aaron Boone said, “They’ll play other positions too.” when referring to Peraza, Cabrera, Kiner-Falefa, and Volpe.  

With spring training in progress many Yankees players will compete amongst each other in order to put their best 10 players on the lineup card on March 30, 2023.